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School leader arrested by task force


A popular educator and rising young school administrator was taken from Lake Roosevelt Schools in handcuffs today, after a Seattle-based task force on internet crimes served warrants to search his home and office.

Nate Piturachsatit was arrested at the school today after law enforcement officers from several agencies, all part of the regional task force, arrived with a warrant to search his office and computer.

When they left, they didn’t take the computer with them, but they did take his cell phone.

Piturachsatit is the vice principal of Lake Roosevelt Elementary School, where four of his own children attend.

He was booked into Okanogan County Jail facing allegations of communication with minor for immoral purposes, sexual exploitation of a minor, and possession of depictions of minor engaged in sexually explicit conduct.

Grand Coulee Dam School District Superintendent Dennis Carlson said the entire district staff met this afternoon so they could be apprised of the allegations against Piturachsatit.

“I was assured by law enforcement that they had nothing to do with this school,” Carlson said. “It was external.”

Interim Coulee Dam Police Chief Larry Hall said the arrest stems from an investigation from the Midwest, where a girls’ mother discovered photos on her daughter’s Instagram account.

Hall said members of the task force included deputies of a couple sheriffs’ offices, Seattle police, Boarder Patrol, and Homeland Security. Others reported seeing officers wearing jackets labeled “FBI.”

The searches were happening even as the Grand Coulee Dam Rotary Club was discussing, at a regular weekly luncheon, Piturachsatit’s proposal to work with the club on a joint venture to send kids from Lake Roosevelt and Nespelem sixth grades to the Tall Timbers retreat camp in Leavenworth.

The club hosted a spaghetti feed to help fund the annual trip last spring and was planning to do the same this year, with Piturachsatit the key organizer on the school side.

Carlson said the Tall Timbers trip will go one as planned this year. He said staff at the school were adamant that those plans not be interrupted.

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